Longtime Orgill chairman to retire position
William Fondren, who has served as chairman of Orgill board of directors since January 2005, has announced his retirement effective Dec. 31, 2012.
Fondren spent 24 years as Orgill’s president and CEO, leading the Memphis, Tenn.-based from a regional distributor serving the Midsouth to one of the industry’s largest independent hardlines distributors, with retail customers in all 50 states, throughout Canada and in more than 60 countries around the world.
Ron Beal, Orgill’s current president and CEO, will succeed Fondren as board chairman while retaining his current responsibilities with the company. Fondren will also continue to serve as a member of Orgill’s board.
“We are delighted Bill has agreed to remain on Orgill’s board and that we will continue to have access to his advice and counsel,” Beal said.
Added Fondren: “As a privately held company, one of the most important things Orgill can do is plan for an orderly transition on our board and establish a continuity of leadership for our team; these changes are a reflection of that type of planning.”
Fondren first joined Orgill in 1977, when he served as general manager of the company’s appliance division. Later he became executive VP and general manager of Orgill’s hardware division and was responsible for sales, purchasing and merchandising of hardware products. He was named president and CEO in 1981 and eventually succeeded Joseph Orgill III as board chairman.
“Bill has always championed the value of a strong team and has been instrumental in assembling and guiding the team here at Orgill for more than three decades,” Beal said. “Not only has Orgill experienced unprecedented growth during this period, but we have also been able to help thousands of retailers achieve greater success in their own operations, which is our ultimate mission.”
Simpson Strong-Tie donates $25,000 to Sandy relief efforts
Simpson Strong-Tie has announced it will make a $25,000 donation to assist in the relief response and recovery efforts throughout the East Coast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The funds were given directly to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and will aid in providing food, shelter, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by the hurricane.
The Pleasanton, Calif., manufacturer will also be matching employees’ personal contributions to the Red Cross and other nonprofit disaster relief organizations.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to those who have been impacted by this tragedy,” said Simpson Strong-Tie president Terry Kingsfather. “We hope that through the combined national support efforts, the East Coast will be able to quickly recover and rebuild the communities that have been devastated.”
List of Improving Housing Markets leaps ahead
The number of U.S. housing markets showing consistent improvement in three key measures of strength expanded by 22 in November to a total of 125, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI). This marks a third consecutive monthly gain for the index, which now includes representatives from across 38 states, as well as the District of Columbia.
Markets added to the list in November include such geographically diverse locations as San Diego; Gainesville, Fla.; Omaha, Neb.; Louisville, Ky.; and Charlotte, N.C. The three indicators that are analyzed to compile the monthly index are employment growth from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, housing price appreciation from Freddie Mac and single-family housing permit growth from the U.S. Census Bureau.
"Not only did 22 additional markets qualify for the improving list in November, but the geographic distribution of included metros expanded from 33 states to 38 (plus the District of Columbia), while 97 out of 103 markets retained their spots on the list from the previous month," observed Barry Rutenberg, NAHB chairman and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. "This shows that a housing recovery is firmly taking root and helping generate needed jobs and economic growth across much of the country — though we know that this expansion could be even stronger were it not for ongoing challenges, including overly tight lending conditions and difficult appraisals."
"The solid increase in the number of improving housing markets this month illustrates the degree to which the housing recovery has gained momentum since we initiated the IMI last year," noted NAHB chief economist David Crowe. "Compared with the 30 markets that made the list as of November 2011, we now have 125, which is about one-third of all the markets surveyed for this index."
"This new high point for the Improving Markets Index provides the latest evidence that housing has turned a corner due to rising demand from consumers who are increasingly confident about the direction of local home values," said Kurt Pfotenhauer, vice chairman of First American Title Insurance Company.
A complete list of all 125 metropolitan areas currently on the IMI, and separate breakouts of metros newly added to or dropped from the list in November, is available from the NAHB by clicking here.